Reinforcing trauma and the consequences

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[Trigger warning: mention of triggers and self-harm, not being taken seriously]

In order for you to understand how this all started, we need to back up to last weekend. I was at a camp, and I got badly triggered by another student, which lead to the angry man (see “about me”) coming out and being very intense (for more information, read the post “the angry man paid a visit this weekend”). For reasons I’m not going into right now my family heard about my rage and the angry man’s torture fantasies. This weekend it became very apparent to me that they weren’t, and seemingly no one else either for that matter, taking this seriously at all. I’m not saying that I want anyone to be afraid of me/the angry man or fear that he will actually hurt anyone except for maybe me. What hurts me is the fact that his thoughts and feeling are written off as nothing because it’s “normal” to get very angry and wanting to/fantasize about hurting others when you’re very upset. I don’t doubt that rage is something we all feel from time to time, but it truly pains me to realize that no one seems to understand just how horrible it is for me to be taken over by someone else’s wrath and having to think his thoughts and see the images he creates in our mind. Everyone gets really pissed off every once in a while, but at least they are still themselves and therefore have some control over what’s going on. I feel almost victimized because I have no choice but to witness and endure someone else’s (the angry man’s) fury. I become terrified and nauseous, my stomach clenches and I feel so much shame and guilt. I just wished that others would tell me they know that it’s all very real to me and that they understand that it’s very unpleasant and downright nasty for me when the angry man is very intense. Instead I get that tired, old response: we all experience that sometimes, it’s no big deal.

And what’s even worse than others reinforcing my trauma (“No one listens to you, no one sees you, no one will ever believe you or take you seriously. There is no room for you to exist so you might as well give up now”) is that it triggers the angry man further. To him, not being taken seriously is a challenge and he is up for it. He has been really pressuring me to hurt myself these past couple of days (I haven’t done anything though) and once again I can feel the rational part getting weaker, indecisive and loosing its way. There’s been a huge debate going on inside my head whether I should stop playing nice and compliant and be more loud and defiant (speaking my mind, raising my voice, hurting myself and resorting to violence) or not. We can all agree on one thing: we can’t go on the way we do now, letting everything pass and suffering in silence. Part of me is scared to speak up, my social anxiety and intense fear of being hurt again bubbles up, while other parts are just dying to start a riot. Naturally, it’s been really hard on me, I’ve been unstable and at times I’ve really felt like cutting myself just to see what happens.
On the other hand I do think that it’s wrong to let others “bully” me into being self-destructive. Sometimes I feel like it’s not my difficulties and conditions that cause me pain, it’s the people around me and their lack of understanding. I’ve been told that I have great verbal skills and that the ability to make myself clear/understood is one my biggest strengths.. So how come I always get right back to this feeling that I’m invisible utterly unwanted? Maybe because actions speak louder than words. I don’t act out. I don’t scream, yell or even talk back, I don’t pick fights, I don’t skip school, I don’t drink or do drugs, I don’t steal or vandalize, I get good grades, I go to bed at 10 pm even on weekends. I don’t cause anyone any trouble at all. On the contrary: I’m usually patient, polite, nice, docile, eager to please, quiet, dull. Perhaps it’s no surprise that people listen and nod but don’t comprehend what I’m telling them. Because that’s how society works, right? If you don’t cause anyone any trouble, you can’t possible have any severe problems yourself. If your pain doesn’t show, it’s not there. High-functioning introverts are no one’s top priority, at least in my experience. It’s so unbelievably sad and it’s making things so much worse for those suffering in silence.

I talked to my lovely boyfriend about all of this and I feel so much better (no well, but better). Not sure what I’d do without him.


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